Car news

27 April 2013

New Toyota Me.We

Name sounds like a toddler urinating, is actually quite cool

TopGear.com
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First up, don't get too excited - this is just a concept. But lordy, we wish it wasn't. It's what Toyota calls an "anti-crisis" car, and it's designed to be cheap, environmentally responsible, and fully recyclable.

As such, Toyo's built this by plonking some polypropylene panels, weighing just 14kg each, onto an all-aluminium spaceframe. That means it only weighs 750kg, which is 200kg lighter than a normal steel supermini like a Yaris.

Inside, bamboo makes up the floor and horizontal surfaces in the cabin . Admittedly, you could mistake it for concept fluff, but it's an easy-to-clean, cheap, and mightily renewable material. It also looks a little bit brilliant, which is nice.

The rest of the cabin doesn't really feature anything at all. It's all about the passengers in there, so luggage goes on the roof under a fold-out, weatherproof neoprene cover (though you can extend rearward space using the a fold-down platform like you'd find in pick-up). You can even fold up the rear bench and store it under the front seat, or just take it out completely and use it as sort of portable park bench.

The instrumentation's pretty pared down too. There's a single screen above the steering wheel that displays vehicle speed, battery charge, journey information and navigation instructions, allcontrolled via a smartphone. Once you've mounted your phone, it also deals with all the music and climate control stuff via a selection of apps.

The heater and air-con gubbins has a low-energy pump too, so you don't soak up too much juice. But if you'd rather just go al fresco, you can drop all the windows, including the windscreen, a la VW split-screen camper.

As you'd imagine, there's an electric powertrain under the denim-grower stuff. It's the same one as you'd find in the i-Road three-wheeler concept we spotted in Geneva, and the same under-floorbattery layout you'd find in an iQ EV. The in-wheel motor system means you can switch from two to four-wheel drive too, though you'll run out of juice a lot more quickly in AWD.

Anyone else fancy one, or is it just us?

Tags: toyota, me we, mewe

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